Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bouncer Post #69


Title: You'll Be Thinking of Me
Genre: Women's Fiction
Word count: 85,000 

Query:

Twenty-four year old Rachael Allen felt herself morphing into an adolescent groupie, all hormones and awkwardness, when she asked actor Mick Sullivan for his autograph—a custom of celebrity culture she had sworn to herself she would never, ever participate in. Still, the chance encounter was sure to make a meaty story to tell her friends. Posting an impromptu video of the two of them on YouTube, the gravy. But the ripple effects—bizarre threats, home break-ins, deadly gifts, and the emotional whiplash of an implausible romance—were not what she had in mind when she had wished for something—anything—to shake up her mundane existance. 

Rachael knows Mick Sullivan's reputation from the tabloids—drinks too much, smokes too much, and sleeps around, "anything with a pussy and a pulse," as one smart-ass celebrity blogger put it. But he's got secrets. Some he shares only with his pseudo best friend, master mysogenist, Shane Dwyer; others he's shared with no one. But there's one secret he's hiddden from himself, washed away by one too many beers.

When Rachael boldly steps outside her comfort zone to approach him, their lives take a jarring detour neither of them could have predicted or prepared for. "You'll Be Thinking of Me" is the story of Rachael's serendipitous encounter with a celebrity, her brush with obsessive love and the bittersweet gift left behind by the very person fixated on destroying her life. 

I am a freelance writer/editor and have contributed to, among others, The New York TimesParadePreventionFamily CircleWoman's DayMcCall'sRedbookGreatLifeFitnessShapeVIV! online magazine, and Weight Watcher Magazine. I have also been the author/co-author of several nonfiction books, including The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous! (Atria Books, 2004) and Reader's Digest Magic Foods for Better Blood Sugar (Readers' Digest Association, 2007).

First 250:

Rachael Allen was almost a quarter of a century into her life and she had a plan, but she had hit a few speed bumps on what she assumed would be the Autobahn of life. According to her strategically mapped out route, by now she was supposed to have a kick-ass job, a small, but functional apartment in Manhattan, and a hot boyfriend serving up regular, toe-curling sex. Instead, she was still trying to figure out what she was going to be when she grew up. Her brief stint at an independent record label had given her a tantalizing taste of what she wanted career-wise, but she was nowhere near getting a place of her own and her last encounter with the opposite sex? Barely lukewarm. 

It was a crisp April morning, the sky a Caribbean blue, a blank canvas of possibilities. Rachael was taking a much-needed break from job hunting, headed into Manhattan on the train--a day trip into the city from Madison, a homey New Jersey town, where she was living with her parents in a last-ditch (and demoralizing) money-saving maneuver. Though she often went into the city with friends, today she was going solo so she could window shop, enjoy a leisurely lunch, and take in a foreign film, without getting mired down in long-winded negotiations over the choice of stores, restaurants or movies.  

4 comments:

  1. I found this to be really enagaging and effective - both the query and the excerpt. The writing is very solid and it carries the reader along. You are hitting on points that are universal - grass is greener, frustrated hopes, etc and you do it in such an effortless manner. After 250 words, we already feel we know the narrator - so that's really an accomplishment. One point - the query might be a tad long. Maybe you could trim the detail and just hit the high notes. Also, and this is minor, when she said she is a quarter century into her life it makes me wonder how old she is...20? 25> Either one of those ages is way too young for her to feel the world-weariness that sounds middle-aged. I think that needs to be addressed. It's one thing to have frustrated hopes and dreams (at that age) and another to come off as beaten down by life (Which you shouldn't be at that age) But, really top notch first class writing.

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    1. Thanks for the positive feedback and the suggestions. We'll see what happens...

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  2. Bouncer IheartbooksFebruary 13, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Hmmmm. The first 250 don't really get me into the story, so this is a tricky one. But I like the potential in your query. So you're in! Good luck!

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    1. Booyah! I decided at the last minute to drop my prologue and start with the first chapter. Should have kept the prologue. It's much more compelling, I think. Anyway, thanks so much!

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